Shrouded in coast fog, the chitter
of Nuthatch and Junco, crisp
as a shaman’s rattle. All morning,
late plums drum my garden
steps. I am mixing my mother’s ashes
with birdseed, elbow-deep in a galvanized
pail. Swishing the whispering seed
with ghostly flour milled in the singing bell of the crematorium
pollinating each grain
with her smoky voice
her elegant fingers.
Plunging my hands into the seed,
her ash a gritty surprise,
more sand than feathery smoke.
The seed, the chaff, the hazing vapor
Memory of a feathery puff
dusting her downy cheek
childhood holding its breath
powdery grains aloft as sintered rainbows
and the hopping, waiting, head
cocked birds and songs –flow
through my fingers, ticking into the tinned tub.
Rising from this meld of future and past
my hands phantom-pale, sintered, translucent.
Causes Peter Coyote Supports
The Global Security Institute, Native Sovereignty Issues, Wild Earth( Natural Corridors Program),